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So I stood in line at Michael's for at least 20 minutes this past weekend with a bunch of people buying Christmas stuff and I wondered to myself "I wonder what these people would do if they knew I was here to buy supplies for next year's Halloween and I don't care about the Xmas stuff...."

Anyways, I have been working on 2 projects that collided. We have a tree in our front yard that would be perfect for some of these hanging mason jar lamps that I keep seeing and so I have been doing some experiments with them lately. On a completely unrelated path ( for the past several years!) I have been pursuing options for fake Spanish moss for the same tree. These projects collided today and I thought the result was cool. The hanging mason jar "swamp lamp" is nothing new and you can find a bazillion examples on how to do these on the web. I used Pebeo 160 paint to create an amber color. The light is an LED "flame" lamp that you can get from multiple places on Amazon. What is new is creating the "swamp" look by using the same thread and netting that is used to create Ghillie Suits for hunters and snipers. If you have no idea what a Ghillie suit is then here is an informative and humorous video that will show you what one looks like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y8C4F4xZzgQ

You can buy Ghillie suit thread on Amazon. It comes in 1/2 lb bundles and each bundle is about $10. The thread is nylon and comes in 18" pieces and you tie it to nylon netting with 1" squares. The thread comes in many colors and some are pre-mixed like the Mossy Blend and Woodland blend shown here. A piece of the netting is next to these bundles.
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First thing you need to do is separate the big bundles into small "bundlettes" of about 20 threads. The smaller the bundles the easier it is to tie the knots. The bigger the bundles the more dense your "canvas" will be. If you can get someone to help you where one person divides the little bundlettes and one person ties the knots it will go MUCH faster.
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I use simple knots - the same kind you start with when tying your shoes. I created a checkerboard type pattern when tying the knots as shown here where you skip one row/column each time.
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Here is a big section that I was doing to look like fake moss. Hanging it from a light helps immensely in keeping it at the right working height and providing lots of light. Disregard the collection of wine bottles in the background - it was close to Thanksgiving and we had family coming over.
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I digress. Here is a small piece of the netting and thread simply zip-tied to a mason jar lamp. I hot-glued some additional thread to the bottom.
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Finished product:
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and here is Kirby. He's a doodle.
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And a video:
 

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That looks SO good!! I can't get over that eerie swamp-like glow of the lantern coming through the "moss."

Also, don't make it sound like you guys don't enjoy wine regularly...I see that big fishbowl almost full of corks in the background there ;)
 

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LOL obviously I need to pay more attention what shows up in my photos. FYI - the fishbowl is for us to play the "throw the wine cork in the bowl" game whenever we open a new bottle - note the marks on the wall :rolleyes:. The 6-7 bags of corks next to the bowl is because the game gets to hard when the bowl is full. :)
 

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Oh, dang.... I love the look of the lantern. One of my chief complaints for the swamp lanterns was that they weren't very bright. Now, for some, that's exactly what they want, but our tree is right next to a sodium vapor lamp that lights up the entire side of our house. It helps keep everyone on the path, but little lights like dollar tree candles and the like just fade away. So, as cool as I thought swamp lights would look, I never even considered them until your post.

We have the flame lights in our actual entry lights and they look nice and bright. So, next year, we'll be able to have swamp lights lighting up our tree as well. Thanks so much for the post.
 

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Thanks for all the comments. Make sure you use a "wide mouth" quart size mason jar - the led flame bulbs that I have are too large for the jars with the regular size mouth. Also look for the led bulbs that sense when they are upside down and adjust the flame accordingly. These are the ones I got that seem to work fine.
 

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Here's another option for you folks setting out to make this swamp lantern. Ali Express sells the lamps in two different sizes, one smaller than those at Amazon, and another about the same size. The watts are 7 and 9 respectively, so about the same as the Amazon versions which are listed as 8. The reason for visiting the Ali Express site is that the bulbs are as little as six dollars apiece and free shipping. Sure, you have to wait awhile to get them, but then what else do we have to do? It's winter. Prop building doesn't start for a couple of months. So, now is the perfect time to order your supplies. :)

Here's the link to what I bought. There are many other sellers and other colors of flame lights to choose from. https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Creative-3-modes-Gravity-Sensor-Flame-Lights-E27-E26-E14-LED-Flame-Effect-Fire-Light-Bulb/32849675692.html?spm=a2g0s.9042311.0.0.27424c4dRHQ6pH

While night videos never do lighting justice, here's a clip of the lamps in my lights. It's more noticeable in the real world, but you can see how the flames appear to be coming up from the bottom, which is really key for keeping these lamps looking real.


The lamps are the 7 watt smaller versions in my porch lights, so you can use the later part of the video to get an idea of how bright they are. I'm thinking about the same as a 40 watt incandescent bulb.
 

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thanks for this post, there are some fantastic ideas here...I am beginning to accumulate ideas for a witch/swamp walking stick for this Halloween...also is that a Doodle? We have a doodle name Rosey and standard poodle named Teddy.
 
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